By Bernd Debusmann Jr
The move is designed to provide for the immediate needs of people and SMEs impacted by the coronavirus
Three Abu Dhabi-based banks have announced a package of 17 financial incentives to support people and businesses in the emirate amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The move by the banks – including First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) – are designed to provide for the immediate needs of individuals and SMEs in Abu Dhabi by reduce finance-related costs and facilitate access to financing to bolster Abu Dhabi’s economy.
For retail customers, measures include interest-free installment offers on loans for school tuition until June 30, payment deferrals (upon request) for personal, auto and mortgage loans with no service charge, as well as 50 percent reduction in bank charges on early settlement of loans for eligible customers, through June.
Additionally, impacted retail customers will also be eligible for retail loans with interest waived and zero charges for the deferral period, as well as a 5 percent increase in the loan-to-value ratio for first time home buyers, full refund processing fees for foreign currency credits due to travel plans being cancelled, and a reduction of 50 percent in late payment charges on credit cards.
For SMEs, the banks have announced seven measures that will enable the banks to use their borrowing and savings more efficiently while reducing costs.
SMEs will now be able to defer instalments on existing borrowings for three months, while eligible companies will also be able to save on selected fees such.
Specifically, bank merchant service fees will be reduced by 50 percent for SMEs with below AED 5 million usage per annum through March 30.
There will also be a reduction of up to 50 percent on all banking fees and charges for zero balance accounts for eligible customers.
In addition, the minimum average balance requirements on all SME account categories will be reduced up to AED 10,000 per month.